Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)
Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is a process of delivering radiation over a short treatment duration. This radiation consists of a maximum of 5 treatments(5 treatment days). Conventional radiation is typically given daily over 5-8 weeks. Researchers in many countries have discovered that the anti-tumor effect of SBRT is much greater than that of conventional radiation. For example, survival of stage I lung cancer using SBRT appears to be similar to surgical treatment.
SBRT has some limitations according to the size of the tumor (target volume) and the location. SBRT uses daily doses of radiation that are much larger than the daily doses of conventional radiation. Even with these large daily doses, safety is maintained by the use of a large number of beams, more sophisticated imaging during the treatment, enhanced immobilization, and the possible placement of referrence markers.
SBRT can be used for tumors of the brain or spine, lung tumors, liver tumors, bone tumors, prostate cancer, and limited spread of cancer to the lung, liver or brain. SBRT is approved by Medicare and most insurance plans.